Why Benny Hinn Became Our Wacky Neighbor

By John Bloom | 05/20/2008


If you drive west from Dallas, through the neo-moderne lunarscape of a pod city called Las Colinas, past a massive international airport on a denuded prairie, into the warren of faceless office buildings that make up cosmopolitan Grapevine, you'll never find Benny Hinn.

He wants it that way. The nerve center of his worldwide organization is tucked away in a group of cheap white nondescript buildings that look like the kind of domiciles favored by Mafia fronts on the wharves of New Jersey. Inside, several dozen employees process an estimated $100 million per year in donations from people who believe in Hinn as a sort of Elmer Gantry for the 21st century. (Obviously they didn't read the novel.)

Now go the other way, into the cul-de-sacs and barrios of deep East Dallas. On a dead end street next to a nursing home, in an expansive two-story house once owned by the Dallas mob, the Trinity Foundation works 24/7 trying to find out just how much money passes through Grapevine, where it comes from and where it goes, running undercover operations, infiltrations, spying, surveillance, the cultivation of disgruntled ex-employees, and even going through Benny Hinn's garbage in an effort to . . . well . . . to make him prove he's not a fraud.

"All we want is for Benny Hinn to make good on promises he made to me in 1993," says Ole Anthony, president of the Christian watchdog organization. "He promised he would stop airing fake healings, that he would medically verify all healings, that he would wait six months after the healing before putting it on TV, to make sure it was authentic. He said he would do all these things, and he's done none of them. It would also be nice if he would submit himself to a real theologian for examination. Some of his teachings are off the scale, even bordering on necromancy."

What the heck is Benny Hinn doing in Dallas?

Las Colinas
Las Colinas, TX

It's weird. It was weird when he announced he was moving to Dallas in 1999, pretty much abandoning his church congregation in Florida. It was weirder still when he announced that God had ordered him to build a $30 million World Healing Center in Irving, making it sound like a combination theme park and New Age miracle spa. The way he laid it out, it would be a sort of shrine to famous faith healers of the past, complete with "stereophonic statue gardens," as well as a Holy Ghost Mayo Clinic for the halt, the lame and the afflicted. I had visions of wheelchair-bound hordes being lifted off jumbo jets at DFW Airport and convoying their way over to Las Colinas, like pilgrims pouring into a Disneyworld version of Lourdes. Isn't this the kind of thing that belongs in Tulsa?

Fortunately, God changed his mind in the summer of 2002 and told Hinn not to build the healing center after all, even though he had spent two years collecting donations for it. (God was apparently vague about what Hinn should do with the money. The county tax assessor was less vague, telling Hinn it was unlikely that his tax exemption would survive theme-park ownership.) Hinn said it was just a timing matter. God wants the healing center, but he didn't want it right then. (Since the only other building the Almighty is known to have ordered is the Temple at Jerusalem, maybe He's just unimpressed with Irving.) Hinn finally said he would keep his headquarters in Dallas because the central location saves him money.

"Good," says Ole Anthony. "I told him it will save us money, too."

If anything, the move to Texas looked like an attempt to spread his operations over as many geographical jurisdictions as possible. For example, Hinn's TV show, "This Is Your Day!," originates in studios in Orange County, California, and airs in 192 countries, making it one of the most widely disseminated programs in the world. Hinn is so ubiquitous on religious TV, in fact, that you would assume by this point--35 years into his preaching ministry--that he would have become one of those household names, like Billy Graham, who's expected to lead the invocation at the Super Bowl and counsel the President and appear on The Today Show in times of national crisis. But the opposite is true. Hinn HouseAside from his twice-monthly appearances at his own choreographed "crusades," held in the largest sports arenas on the planet, Hinn is a virtual recluse, surrounded by armies of bodyguards, ensconced in an $12 million oceanfront hacienda in southern California, traveling by private jet for "snorkeling vacations" in the Cayman Islands, staying in $10,800 per night presidential suites in Italy, a $15,000 per night suite in Greece, and claiming a level of financial secrecy and paranoid internal security that's more often associated with drug dealers than men of the cloth. Hinn PlaneBy surrounding himself with yes-men and stage-managing every detail of his public image--even to the point of stiff-arming the occasional paparazzo who tries to photograph him--he has more in common with Michael Jackson than Jerry Falwell. He may, in fact, be the first Christian rock star. The analogy is not Paul McCartney, though--Benny's career is more like Cher, as he makes it up as he goes along, re-inventing himself whenever necessary.

He has no church. He belongs to no denomination. He's not even affiliated with any particular religion, although his buzz words indicate he tends to dwell on the freaky backwoods fringe of Pentecostalism. As recently as three centuries ago, he probably would have been burned as a heretic. (To give you some idea of his doctrinal strangeness, he once preached that the Trinity is actually nine persons, because each member of the Trinity--Father, Son, Holy Spirit--is also a Trinity. He also says that God and the Holy Spirit have real bodies, with eyes, hands, mouth, etc. Various theologians have trashed him, of course, for preaching "new revelations" directly from God that turn out to be, when examined, variations of thousand-year-old heresies.) He thinks of himself as a prophet (even when his prophecies don't come true) and, in one burst of grandeur, "a new messiah walking on the earth." He believes that the Biblical Adam flew into outer space, that when God parted the Red Sea he made it into a wall of ice, that God talks to him more frequently than he talked to, say, Moses, that a man has risen from the dead in his presence, that a man turned into a snake before his eyes, that angels come to his bedroom and talk to him, and that the only reason we're not all in perfect health, living forever, is that there are demons in the world, attacking us. He's expressed opinions normally heard only on schizophrenia wards, and he's done it in front of millions of people--and still they come. They come in such numbers that thousands have to be turned away, and even the ones turned away gladly give him their money.

What's going on here?

Benny Hinn says that what's going on here is that he was "anointed." It happened either at the age of 11, when Jesus first appeared to either him or his mother while he was living in Jaffa, Israel, or maybe 18, when he had a conversion experience at a high school in Toronto, or maybe shortly after that, when he took a bus trip to Pittsburgh to see the faith healer Kathryn Kuhlman. It's difficult to say exactly when it happened, or what form it took, because Hinn parcels out little bits and pieces of his background as it suits him, then embellishes the stories so that isolating any one event in his life is like puzzling through a 30-year-old KGB file. What we do know--because he returns to it time and again--is that a transforming moment in his life occurred when, as a teenager, he was assigned to take care of a crippled arthritic woman on a pilgrimage to see one of Kuhlman's healing services, and he saw the woman apparently lose all pain in her legs and "untwist," as he put it. Depending on how cynical you are, he had either found his holy calling, or discovered one of the oldest American carnie games. Ever since then he's been praised as a true miracle worker--Oral Roberts himself is his biggest fan--and debunked by various investigative reporters around the world, including 60 Minutes Australia, which concluded, "Benny Hinn is a fake. A dangerous fake. What he does is prey on the sick, the desperate and the gullible." (Trinity Foundation does most of the legwork for all the various networks and newspapers who have investigated Hinn. Of the Australian report, Anthony says, "Apparently in Australia you can just go ahead and say the truth out loud.")

Hinn is a peculiar sort even by the standards of the ongoing circus called American televangelism. If you look at the superstars of the past 25 years--Bakker, Swaggart, Tilton-- they're all of a type: WASPY extroverts with good looks in a sort of dime-store gigolo way. (Even Jim Bakker had that lost-puppy look that's so attractive to lonely widows. Older women living alone are the number one demographic group when it comes to sending money to television ministries.) Hinn, on the other hand, is short, slight, semitic, round-faced, and often sports a haircut that looks like a scoop of Rocky Road ice cream that's been knocked off the top of the cone. He reminds you of a discount Persian rug merchant, not a spiritual leader. He's a Palestinian with a Greek father and Armenian Turk mother, raised in a Catholic school along with eight brothers and sisters who were stuffed into a tiny two-bedroom apartment in the Tel Aviv suburb of Jaffa. In Hinn's books he claims that his father was the mayor of Jaffa. As it turns out, Jaffa had no mayor after the year 1948, four years before Hinn was born. Like many factoids in the Hinn legend, this one seems to be a fib.

Hinn Yearbook

Toufik Benedictus Hinn, known to his family as "Tutu," didn't much like living in Palestine with an Arabic first name, so early in life he became Benny. He was not particularly noted by his classmates at College de Frere elementary school in Jaffa or, after the family emigrated when Benny was 14, at Georges Vanier Secondary School in Toronto. In his sermons and books, Hinn has portrayed his childhood as that of a social outcast, handicapped by a severe stutter, who was nonetheless a stellar student. But when G. Richard Fisher and M. Kurt Goedelman, two journalists who write for Christian publications, looked into Hinn's youth, they found that both claims were untrue: nobody remembered Hinn stuttering, and he had dropped out of high school after the 11th grade. The reason I use these particular examples--"white lies" that by themselves don't really mean that much--is to indicate how twisted Hinn's mythmaking can be. He invents things that reflect badly on him just as easily as he invents things that reflect well on him. Psychologically he can't stand the unadorned truth.

Occasionally, though, the enhancements expand into the land of the whopper. For example, Hinn claims to have preached at an all-girls Catholic school in Jerusalem in 1976 and "every single girl in that school got saved, including all the nuns." Since there's only one Catholic girls school in Jerusalem, Schmidt's Girls College, it was a fairly easy matter to question all the nuns who were there in 1976, as well as Father Dusind, who has overseen all religious instruction since 1955. The result? "This is nonsense, real nonsense," Dusind told Fisher and Goedelman. "It never happened and could not happen because a Charismatic healer or Protestant preacher would never ever be let in to talk to the girls."

Or how about the time Hinn went into a Catholic hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and healed everyone there? The way Hinn tells it is that he, three other Pentecostal preachers, and seven Catholic priests held a service together in the hospital chapel, where everyone went to work with "anointing bottles" and patients were healed instantly. They were then asked to lay hands on all the patients in the hospital's rooms, so Hinn and his "Miracle Invasion" team went down the hall healing people, knocking them down with God's power, until "the hospital looked like it had been hit by an earthquake."

The reality--easily confirmed by speaking to officials at Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital and the Gray Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who work there--is that no patients were released the day Hinn held a small service in the chapel and that, furthermore, "Mr. Hinn's claims are outlandish and unwarranted."

Crusade

Okay, so what? Benny Hinn isn't the first flamboyant white-suited evangelist to play fast and loose with "miracles," and I'm sure he won't be the last. What makes Hinn different is that, after moving to Orlando in 1979 and founding the Orlando Christian Center in 1983, he became the most famous--some would add, "and richest"--evangelist in the world. When he preaches in the Philippines or Africa, for example, it's not uncommon to have 500,000 people at the service. And they all come for the same reason: supernatural events, miracles, ecstatic emotional experiences. He refined his technique in the eighties at the Orlando church, which was the scene of loud frenzied charismatic services almost from the moment he opened his doors. Hinn would frequently speak in tongues--something he no longer does now that his services are televised--and issue wild prophecies and reveal divine messages given only to him, as he essentially incorporated into his own services all the techniques he learned from watching Kathryn Kuhlman. Soon the Orlando church became a mecca for the suffering, and by the time Hinn started doing organized crusades in the late eighties, he was poised to fill the void left by the spectacular crashes of the Bakkers, Swaggarts and Tiltons.

India

In many ways Hinn is a throwback to the tent-revival meetings of the 19th century. Short on scripture, long on enthusiasm, these were originally ways to carry the gospel to backwoods people who weren't served by churches, and the tradition was to collect a little money for the minister's traveling expenses at the end of the service. As time went on, the tent revival fell prey to shysters and carnie men, who discovered they could make a sizeable haul by stoking the emotions of the illiterate and making them feel like they were in the presence of miraculous events. It was a short jump from there to Aimee Semple Macpherson, the now discredited healer of the 1920s who, oddly enough, Hinn reveres as one of his spiritual predecessors. Macpherson was the first to take the tent revival nationwide.

This is not to say that everyone who held a healing service was a fraud--but the ones who made an entire career of it tended to be. There even developed a body of sleight-of-hand that survived well into the nineties, notably practiced by Dallas's own W.V. Grant, who can make a leg look like it's grown longer or shorter simply by manipulating the shoe with a deft magician's move. The healing service, almost from the beginning, was a strange mixture of showmanship, ecstatic worship, and magic.

Stage

Hinn's services, for example, follow a strict pattern that's calculated for maximum emotional impact and, not so coincidentally, maximum offering collection. From the time the crowd enters the arena, they're massaged with mood lighting, repetitive music, responsive chanting, group gestures, group singing, various forms of choral and instrumental entertainment, all leading up to the moment Hinn makes his entrance. The song sung for the entrance is "How Great Thou Art," making convenient use of an ambiguous personal pronoun.

"There's power here, people!" Hinn will typically say. "Lift your hands and receive it."

All dutifully lift their hands.

"You will be healed tonight!"

They sob and shout hallelujah.

"All things are possible to him that believeth!"

People

Hinn repeats this same sentence three times, getting a bigger emotional reaction each time he says it.

Chant, song, gesture, salute--all the classic techniques used to submerge the individual into a group. It works for dictators and it works for Hinn. But now that he's joined them together in hope, he adds a dose of fear.

He speaks of huge disasters coming to the world. He tells them of the strange times we live in, a sinful world that will be cleansed by fire and earthquake. And there's only one slim hope to escape: "Only those who have been giving to God's work will be spared."

As a violin plays, money is collected in big white plastic buckets. And as the ushers do their work, Hinn's voice turns soothing. "Nothing will touch you. No one will touch your children. Nothing will touch your home."

Although he never says, "Donate money or you'll die," he comes close. There is a constant theme in his preaching of the connection between "giving" and "healing," making a "faith vow" and "having your needs met." He comes within a hair's breadth of saying, "If you give me money, you will be healed." And the collection always occurs between his promise of healing and the actual healing session--the same way street performers save their biggest trick until after the hat has been passed.

Hinn Blows

Along about 10 p.m., when all the checks and dead presidents have been collected, Hinn announces that God is speaking to him. Sometimes he sees angels in the room. Sometimes he sees ugly demon monsters that are fleeing from the building. ("You ugly spirit of sickness, go out of this place! Let God's people go!") Sometimes he just feels the presence of spirits, or angels. Once he saw the whole arena bathed in golden dust. And then, as though his body has been taken over by a force he can't control, he starts running around knocking people over. Sometimes he knocks them over with his coat, sometimes by blowing on them, sometimes by pushing their forehead with his hand--but when he touches them, they fall over. As he does this, he calls out the healings--a brain tumor, a cancer, a crippled left leg--as though he's watching something occurring that the rest of us can't see. And then, one by one, various people are brought up onto the stage, and an announcer describes their affliction so that Hinn can lay hands on them and pronounce the disease vanquished. On an average night he'll heal about 80 people, in addition to the ones he shouts out in a sort of "wherever you are, you're healed" way.

No wonder Hinn needs bodyguards. Very few, if any, of these people are actually healed. And when they die, or their disease becomes worse, their relatives tend to become angry. For the past 15 years this has been demonstrated over and over again by various investigative reports conducted with the resources of the Trinity Foundation, beginning with an Inside Edition show in 1993 hosted by Bill O'Reilly and reported by Steve Wilson.

Just a few examples:

He claims to have cured three people of AIDS, even though the Centers for Disease Control have never seen the HIV virus leave a body once it's infected.

He healed a case of brain cancer on stage, even though Inside Edition followed up with tests that showed the tumor was still present.

He pronounced a woman cured of heart disease, and she was so convinced that she threw away her heart medicine. Questioned about it, Hinn said, "It's not my job to call their doctor."

The "cure" of a deaf woman turned out to be a woman who, according to her doctor, was not deaf in the first place.

The cure of three deaf boys turned out to be bogus.

A Houston woman who thought she was cured of lung cancer ("It will never come back!" Hinn told her) rejected her doctors' advice and care--and died two months later.

The heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield, banned from boxing because of a heart condition, went to a Benny Hinn crusade in Philadelphia, had Hinn lay hands on him, and gave Hinn a check for $265,000 after he was told he was healed. In fact, he passed his next examination by the boxing commission, but later his doctors said he never had a heart condition in the first place--he had been misdiagnosed.

Hinn claimed that God ripped the pacemaker out of a woman's body because she didn't need it anymore.

Hinn claims that a man in Ghana was raised from the dead on the platform. "We have it on video!" he says--although he's never produced the video.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Even sadder than the people who think they're healed are the ones so sick that Hinn's employees never allow them to be seen on stage. People suffering from paralysis, brain damage, dementia and the like--people who couldn't possibly make any "demonstration" on stage--are rejected at a screening session held backstage.

In two cases journalists have tried to verify all the healings at a particular crusade. For an HBO documentary called A Question of Miracles, researchers attended a Portland, Oregon, crusade at which 76 miracles were claimed. Even though Hinn had agreed to provide medical verification of each one, he stonewalled requests for the data, then eventually responded 13 weeks later--with only five names. HBO followed up the five cases and determined that a woman "cured" of lung cancer had died nine months later, an old woman's broken vertebra wasn't healed after all, a man with a logging injury deteriorated as he refused medication and a needed operation, a woman claiming to be healed of deafness had never been deaf (according to her husband), and a woman complaining of "breathlessness" had stopped going to the doctor on instructions of her mother.

Then in December 2002 NBC's Dateline tried to duplicate the HBO study. At a crusade in Las Vegas they counted 56 miracles. Of those, Hinn eventually provided data "proving" five of them. Four of those people refused to share their medical records with NBC. The remaining one, a woman supposedly cured of Lou Gehrig's Disease, had been misdiagnosed, according to her doctor.

There have been so many documentaries and investigations on Hinn--almost all of them orchestrated by Trinity Foundation--that they even have a common structure:

Here's what he looks like in action.

Here's what he claims to do.

Here's what his critics say.

Is he a fraud or is he a healer?

Let's find out.

Not much healing going on.

Okay, here's what Hinn says in his defense.

And one thing Hinn says in his defense--when confronted with evidence that someone claimed to be healed and then died--is that "The reason people lose their healing is because they begin questioning if God really did it."

This may be his cruelest teaching of all. If you're not healed--or, worse yet, if your sick child is not healed--it's your fault, for not having enough faith. It's at this point that Hinn's ministry almost passes over into the realm of primitive magic--i.e., if you want it bad enough, and you say the right things and feel the right things, it will come true.

As it turns out, though, the media investigations are the best thing that ever happened to Hinn. They made him more famous, and more recognizable, than religious TV ever could have. And since most of his audience is made up of the truly desperate--the chronically sick, the dying, people living with pain--Benny Hinn became one more "treatment" for them to take a shot at.

When the first investigation broke, in March 1993, Hinn must have thought his empire was about to fall apart. There was a nasty shoving incident at the Philadelphia airport with Steve Wilson of Inside Edition, followed by a damage-control campaign in which Hinn went on many radio and TV shows, and met privately with several of his critics, to admit that he'd made mistakes and vow that he would never again air "miracles" on TV unless they had been medically verified. "God has taken me by the neck," he said to his congregation. "I think I'm gonna stop preaching healing and start preaching Jesus." At the request of Inside Edition, Ole Anthony traveled to Orlando to meet with Hinn. At the only face-to-face meeting the two men have had, Hinn said he was reformed and that he intended to start medically verifying all miracles and holding them back from television for six months, so that they could be proven authentic. He even said at one point that worldly wealth was sinful--something you'll rarely hear fall out of the mouth of a TV evangelist.

If you study this particular year in his life–1993--he's remarkably consistent in his statements, very self-aware of exactly what errors he's made, very humble, very apologetic, very interested in getting "back to the gospel." He even says at one point that he'll stop doing healing services entirely. And most everyone believed him--including Inside Edition, in a followup report, and including Anthony. "I was disappointed," says Anthony today, "that a year later he was back to his old tricks."

By 1994, it was as though the soul-searching of the previous year had never existed. He geared up to be bigger than ever. He added crusades, he became more flamboyant, more theatrical, and the procession of "miracles" flitting across the TV screen every day continued unabated.

Slain-in

Apparently what he'd discovered is that scandal was good for business. Or at least this particular type of scandal was good for business. Bakker and Swaggart--he must have thought of them at some point--had been brought down by sex, which is difficult for the Christian world to forgive. Greed, on the other hand, can be overcome. Tilton had been brought down by money issues, but after a few years of lying low, he was back in action. This was a whole new type of media attention. The reporters simply said "Is he a healer, or is he a fake?" And because it was presented as an open-ended question, the crowds got even larger.

Fifteen years later, Hinn has become something of a media master. Whenever he's investigated now, he simply admits his "mistakes." He's especially fond of going on The Larry King Show at any time of crisis. He's also refined his view of what he does. He doesn't heal anyone, he always reminds the interviewer. He just creates an atmosphere so that God can heal people. By the time people get to the stage, they've already been healed by God, he says. If the healing turns out to be bogus, then the person was self-deluded. Besides, hope is a great thing.

He also says he has a doctor backstage now to counsel the miracle cases and encourage them to continue with their medication until the healing has been verified. This seems to satisfy the media, even though it amounts to an admission of his own inability to know whether someone is healed.

The image he presents to the faithful is the opposite, of course. To them he's a man possessed of special wisdom. He sees things no one else can see. He has conversations with Jesus that no one else has had. He witnesses the presence of God when no one else would be aware of it. And he constantly says his teaching is "new." ("You didn't come here to hear the same preaching you've been hearing for 50 years, did you?") Of course, to orthodox Christians, this alone makes him heretical. Far from being "new," they would say, the gospel is unchanged over 2,000 years.

But there's an even darker side to Hinn and his organization. In 1998 two members of his inner circle died of heroin overdoses. In 1999, after one of his many vows of reform, he fired several board members and hired an ex-cop named Mario C. Licciardello to do an internal investigation of his ministry. Licciardello was the brother of Carman, who is sort of the Engelbert Humperdinck of Christian singers, so many think Hinn considered him "safe." But Licciardello did such a good job--taking hundreds of depositions and getting to the bottom of the heroin use--that Hinn then sued him. While Licciardello was still his head of security, Hinn’s organization filed a lawsuit demanding that all his files be turned over and sealed, because their public release could result in the end of the ministry. Licciardello was a police investigator with 25 years of experience, and he felt like his whole career was being smeared, so he fought back with his own lawyers. His counsel continually tried to take Hinn's deposition, but Hinn fought him at every step. The judge, however, ruled against him and said that, if Hinn intended to enjoin Licciardello, he would have to make himself available for questioning.

On the very day that Hinn was supposed to give his deposition in the case, Licciardello had a mysterious heart attack and died. The Hinn organization made an out-of-court settlement with Licciardello's widow, which included sealing the court papers.

The U.S. Attorney in Orlando had seated a secret Grand Jury to investigate Hinn; but Licciardello was the chief witness. After his death, Hinn was no-billed.

Hinn Cover

Hinn runs the largest evangelistic organization in the world that is not a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. That means his finances are private, his salary is secret, and his income is anybody's guess. Royalties from his books alone are estimated at $500,000 per year, but he essentially has carte blanche to take anything out of the till he wants. "He lives the lifestyle of a billionaire," says Ole Anthony, "all on the backs of false promises and selling false hope."

As Hinn put it himself, in a moment of rare revelatory candor, "I don't need gold in heaven, I gotta have it now."

During 1993, his one year of "reform," he talked about being stung by being portrayed as a millionaire and how he wanted to be "more Christ-like." His solution: "The Lord said sell the Benz and the watch."

He got rid of his Rolex and his Mercedes. Notice he didn't give them away. He sold them--and then replaced the Mercedes with a $65,000 BMW. This is what God told him to do. And who better to know what God wants, because Hinn, after all, is only the third person in the history of the universe to have actually seen God and lived to tell about it. God, he says, is 6-2 or 6-3, with long hair of a light brown color, and eyes that can look right through you.

So what is Benny Hinn really doing in Dallas? He's having conversations with a God who thinks about Rolexes and luxury cars a whole heck of a lot. God really did pick the right city, didn't he?


Comments(407)

BECKIE | 02:16 am on 7/22/2009

MY HUSBAND IS A PASTOR OF A SMALL SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH. I AM SO THANKFUL THAT HE PREACHES ONLY FROM THE HOLY BIBLE, AND IS GUIDED BY THE LORD'S HAND IN EVERYTHING HE DOES. I DON'T BELIEVE IN THE WAY HINN TEACHES AND TAKES PEOPLE MONEY FOR THE VERY EXPENSIVE WAY HE LIVES BUT HE WILL HAVE TO STAND BEFORE OUR MAKER ON JUDGEMENT DAY.

Anonymous | 10:28 pm on 2/15/2010

AMEN!!!!

Yulia | 06:55 am on 7/25/2009

Benny has been in Ukrainia in july 2009. I`m ukrainian (sorry for my english)and I have a fresh evidence - I know NO ONE really cured in Dnepropetrovsk! All the cripples went home the same way. The total feeling was a great disappointment. No presence of Holy Spirit but the spirit of money and spirit of lie. We shoud do smth with such a people like Benny! He`s just destroying people`s faith and pull out their money.

rubysings | 06:38 am on 8/02/2009

I used to fall asleep with Christian tv on, and would wake up
in the middle of the night scared to death feeling like the devil
was in the room, guess what Benny Hinn was on! Needless to say
I never fall asleep with the tv on much, especially Christian TV, why don't Christians discern this about him??
Hinn started out being pretty legit, but who knows what happened.
Jesus will take care of it

Anonymous | 07:13 pm on 8/14/2009

He's a fraud and people need to wise up and stop sending their hard earned money to his so called ministry! There's better uses for people to spend their money than a ungodly cause!

cornelius | 06:58 pm on 8/15/2009

i can feel the God wants me to His work but how to start is a problem for me. Pls teach me how start it or begin.counting on you because it is very for me.thank you God bless you the good good work you are doing

livingindenial | 05:07 pm on 8/17/2009

With all the sadness and misery in the world, children lacking essentials, and families being torn apart a moron sees fit to indulge this man and his extravagent lifestyle instead of nurturing his own family. THIS IS A PATHETIC WORLD WITH SHEEP WHO FOLLOW THE WOLVES IN EVERY MENNER POSSIBLE!!!

Anonymous | 10:40 am on 8/18/2009

Dont judge anyone, if you do, you will be surely judged one day or the other...........

Tim N | 07:34 pm on 8/18/2009

I wish every Christian should read Proverb 14:15, Mathew 7, 24.

Siarlys Jenkins | 12:55 pm on 8/22/2009

This has been the lead article for over a year. For slightly newer stuff, try

http://windowsonwittenberg.blogspot.com/

If you have some new material, post it as a comment, and I'll consider posting it as a post. Include your non de plume.

Vonster | 03:57 am on 9/16/2009

Years ago I attended a CBA. There was a life size cut-out of Benny Hinn pitching his latest textual snake oil. So I took a post it note and drew a speaking bubble on it that said "Hi, I'm a false teacher!" and put it next to his head. I then walked to the opposite side of the room and leaned against the wall and watched peoples reactions.

Everyone would see it, lean in, read it and have a good laugh or elbow someone they were walking with and point to it.

This went on for about ten minutes until someone at their booth spotted the post it and removed it. The Hinn lackey then spotted me chuckling, so I had to skedattle. My ministry of humor and apologetics was accomplished.

In all seriousness Hinn is a text book false teacher, a proven liar and neither secular or Church accountability has reigned him in. But rest assured that he will get his due eventually.

wisdom | 02:03 am on 9/25/2009

please i need help i m from nigeria .i m liven in senegal .my brother have a job wich he wont me to join hem but i dont like it is of god .i dont wont to do what god dont like .please i wont to come over that place you are please .

Anonymous | 02:30 pm on 9/26/2009

Hello see my homepage

David | 09:43 pm on 9/28/2009

It's so very hard to beleive in Christian spirituality while the Benny Hinns, Mike Warnkes and Tony Alamo's represent him. I don't know if I can honestly maintain a beleif in God, but I can honestly say "O God, please save us from your followers."

David | 02:47 am on 10/06/2009

60 Minutes Australia called Hinn a fraud??

That's probably the first time it has ever said anything true. Most so-called current affairs programs on that station are tabloid type TV.

Nathan | 02:42 am on 10/07/2009

I believe in divine physical healing because it is a promise that God made to His people, however Benny Hinn is not of God nor knows THE God I know. I have been healed twice in my 32 years of life from cancer. The first time I was healed by others belief in 1993 and this showed me God's love...however I ran from Him for many years asn His call on my life. Last year I was diagnosed again with cancer. I turned back from running and biblically did as God so said...I went to the altar and requested that the elders lay hands on me and annoint me with oil DOING SO IN BELIEF THAT I WOULD BE HEALED...and so I was. This did not require me supporting an antichrist like Benny Hinn (anyone who adds or subtracts from God's Hold Word IS and antichrist)...just unshaken belief in Jesus Christ. AMEN!!!

Anonymous | 10:49 pm on 2/15/2010

Praise God that you have been healed. HALLEUJAH!!

.......and I feel I am 100% safe to assume that it didnt cost you a single penny.

May God bless you - a living breathing testimony to our creator. Something which no amount of money can BUY.

Blue | 10:34 am on 10/10/2009

You have to believe me when I tell you that I don't have an ax to grind against Benny Hinn. The man has never shown up on my radar screen. Sure, I had heard of him - I glimpsed him once on the TV while I was channel surfing, but never had an opinion of him one way or the other. That was, until I visited his headquarters in Grapevine, Texas.

You see, I am an electrician and while working for a former employer I had the occasion to do work at the Hinn complex. As a Christian, the place made my stomach churn. Aside from the pure opulence of the building (gold inlaid door handles and fixtures, thousand dollar imported rugs, etc) I couldn't get over how narcissistic Hinn is. As I was being escorted by a security guard through the hallways of the "Executive Area" (off-limits to lower-level Hinn employees by electronically-controlled, high security doors) I noticed that every wall was covered with pictures of Hinn at various rallies. These 'action poses' showed him laying hands on people in wheelchairs, pushing people backwards.... Even an obviously staged shot of him with a single tear running down his cheek. Gag! It made me want to vomit! What really got me was how the hallways were arranged; each corridor dead-ended to another and at the end of each hall was a HUGE portrait of Hinn. It was arranged so that a person had to fix their gaze upon Hinn's image while walking.

I never saw any images of Jesus, and no references to God or the Bible. There is a small room called the "sanctuary". This was obviously required to give the entire building a "church" tax deduction. The whole time I was there I thought of the hypocrisy of having such a lavish building when you realize that Jesus was born in a dirty, smelly barn.

jb | 08:53 pm on 10/15/2009

Hey guys and gals,
doing some religous satire at revengeofthedoor.wordpress.com. check it out, submit, comment, whatever tickles your fancy.

John P.Ralston | 04:37 pm on 10/21/2009

You know I hope Doug and Wendy Duncan have some spy's to go threw Trinity Foundation's Trash and Ole's personal trash can.What is good for the goose is for the gander.Ole you are a FALSE PROPHET FROM THE PIT OF HELL!!!YOU ARE RUNNING A CULT DOWN THERE IN EAST DALLAS JUST LIKE SCIENTOLOGY!!!

Anonymous | 10:51 am on 10/23/2009

Don't you think the "misdiagnosis" argument is also full of holes. No doubt God work through this man. He's fallible..let God deal with him. Ole Anthony is a modern day Pharisee.

Anonymous | 08:30 pm on 10/27/2009

Except for the healing biz, kind of a Taliban-type guy, hmm? Knows not of what he speaks.

ImaGrammy | 02:01 pm on 10/29/2009

Is it not in the Book of Hosea that says, "my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge?" Hinn is just another anti-christ false prophet. But because people do not read, study and believe the word of God, they are falling victim to this ravening wolf in very expensive sheeps clothing.

Lizzy | 04:07 am on 11/01/2009

Well, Well, Well

St. Francis of Assisi is considered to be the greatest saint that ever walked the face of the earth. He did stupendous miracles and even the horse that he sat on did miracles. These miracles were clear, clean miracles and they were on the spot for everyone to see. He was also given command over the Animal Kingdom.

But St. Francis of Assisi was poor - very, very poor. His clothes were in tatters. He walked on sandals that had holes in them and the his feet touched the ground through the sandals. He ate a frugal meal and was emaciated.

And because he gave up everything he gained everything. Suffer little children for of such is the kingdom of GOD. Take up your cross and follow me.

Now we have PBH who has a swank $3 Million dollar house, a private jet and all the luxuries of life. Ummmm! Where exactly is that cross.

Almost each and every saint in Christendom has suffered or was poor. So what of people who live in opulence and preach the opposite.

God knew that everything can be copied by the Devil except poverty. By their fruit you will know them - you do not pick figs from brambles.

The removal of the hierarchical system by the Freemason resulted in society being divided into two section; the utterly stupid and the leaders. So you're either led like cattle or you are a cowherd leading the stupid - very, very stupid cattle to the slaughter.

Elmer Fudd | 03:24 pm on 12/10/2009

With all do respect, one doesn't have to read the bible very long until one sees the blessings God bestows upon his people. Remember Abraham, Lot, Moses and the "Promised land?"(Remember, the one flowing with milk and honey ??) Gee, what a vain God he must be. He's all about the money ! But seriously, why are churches always trying to help people who don't have money and then when someone comes along and teaches them how to obtain money through Godly living and giving and we crucify them ? Jesus didn't just serve em fish; he taught them how to fish ! You really have to deny 99% of the bible to say that God enjoys people being in poverty or sick or any other situation outside of salvation, which means "SOUNDESS."

Anonymous | 01:27 am on 11/07/2009

This guy is a criminal, just a criminal.

Anonymous | 02:50 pm on 11/14/2009

Who ever wrote this article is a queer! God will judge you accordingly! Why dont you do miracles loser. Stop being a media queer!

sheeba | 07:39 am on 11/20/2009

i was attacked by demons, and i found i was healed everytime i called benny hinn office for prayers, it encourged my soul and mind, now i am completely healed and then i joined benny hinn school online, on deliverence from demons, what a mighty god we have at that point i came to know, his teachings were so much, i become so stronge that i had a lot of peace of mind. i felt god is the one who can always have victory over satan. to me he helped me in my difficult times to stand with god, even though i am a christian, i have not seen him personally, but his messages helped me to come to god. i personally feel only when u experenice such situvations and when u come out of it you know how important prayer and this kind of people are needed. To god i give all the victory who have over come satan in this world.

Anonymous | 09:12 am on 11/20/2009

give me money and you get healed blessed etc. doesnt sound like christianity to me its a shame innocent people fall prey to this loosing their money to some con artist im not afraid to call it what it is a scam

Steve S. | 03:05 pm on 12/10/2009

I have been to a few Benny Hinn crusades, and I've felt better going out than I did coming in. Also, I seem to receive some kind of financial blessing after going to the crusades. I'm not a "partner" and I have a home church in Indianapolis that I attend regularly. I think God makes Benny appear to be Phoney so only the people that are serious get the treasure that his ministry offers. I've given very little to his ministry(my $200 total), but I've received great spiritual blessings. I'm a written testimony to the legitimacy of his ministry. My experiences are also the same reason keep coming back. It's not because their ignorant with low self-esteem, it's because they receive a genuine touch from the Lord. Hey, to those that criticize him, "WHY DON'T YOU TRY TO GET HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CHRISTIANS TOGETHER TO WORSHIP GOD." God appears to get some use out of old Benny regardless of his criticism. Mybe God doesn't care how rich a person is and mybe God cares more about what's in your heart. MOST and I repeat MOST poor people are the most COVETOUS people you will ever meet.

Anonymous | 11:43 pm on 2/15/2010

"WHY DON'T YOU TRY TO GET HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CHRISTIANS TOGETHER TO WORSHIP GOD."

Probably because we dont have the means to hire a venue large enough bring them all together.

And I'm pretty sure that being rich at the expense of sick, aged, disabled and dying people is not pleasing in God's sight. Therefore I do believe God DOES care.

The huge sums of money which Hinn splashes out and keeps for himself, could be put to much better uses.

How can his huge annual income be justified?

Steve S. | 03:13 pm on 12/10/2009

By the way, when you go to a Crusade, you'll notice there are all types of people.(Age, race, etc..) It's like a beautiful picture of the diversity of heaven. Also, Benny is an excellent teacher and all people seem to talk about is the miracles. I can have compassion though because when I was a shallow and judgmental christian I used to make fun of him too. God has a great sense of humor. The people you made fun of end up being your leaders.

Anonymous | 04:19 pm on 12/11/2009

I have been to some of the crusades, and I followed the Word of God that tells us to try the Spirit..... I did and God revealed that His Servant is of the truth. I was healed by God in Benny's services and also touched by the power of God. Dont be an outsider looking in with the wrong eyes...be an insider looking out with the eyes of the Spirit of God

Anonymous | 06:06 am on 12/14/2009

come on guys, the guy is trying to make a living!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cant you see!

Anonymous | 03:21 am on 12/16/2009

can you put a new article on your home page already?

boss luar biasa | 05:24 am on 12/21/2009

Awesome story!
Much food for thought ...
It really made my day.
Thank you.

Anonymous | 07:31 pm on 12/22/2009

One thing for sure: Men and their money will perish. Only the righteous will make it. There is a very narrow path that leads to eternal life. Very few find it.

Anonymous | 10:33 am on 12/23/2009

Lets do less judging and critizing and more praying. In this way we sow Mercy, and all of us need Mercy everyday.You cant speak evil of someone when you Pray for them!!

Mario | 07:50 am on 12/29/2009

If anyone has never seen CBC's investigative report on Benny Hinn, I suggest you watch it. When I was a much younger Christian, I actually accepted Hinn as being "annointed", but what did I know? My first suspicions, about Hinn, arose after I noticed he kept making announcements and prophecies that never materialized. According to the Bible, this would make him a false prophet who speaks presumptuously on behalf of the Lord. He also makes outrageous claims, such as raising people from the dead and "people turning into snakes" right in front of him, without any evidence, though he claims such incidents were caught on camera. From what I understand, he also once claimed that the Holy Trinity is not comprised of three persons, but seven. And let's not even talk about his lavish lifestyle...24 carat stitchings on his suits, million dollar homes, expensive cars, presidential hotel suites in Europe, etc. On top of that, people have claimed to be healed at his shows, only to remain sick or die. Notice how nobody ever grows a new arm, like the obvious miracles in the Bible. It's just one red flag after another, yet most of his supporters blindly take him for his word, while rebuking us. I really do hate to see that, because it breaks my heart that they are being misled.

Anonymous | 07:48 pm on 1/05/2010

This just proves that religion is the route of all evil. These evangelists are pathetic sorry asses who steal from the poor. A true preacher, or man of god, would work for nothing, and not care about fancy cars, homes, clothes, etc. Benny Hinn, Billy Graham, Oral roberts, Pat Robertson, kenneth copeland, and all the other phonies are from the same mold.

Anonymous | 09:27 pm on 1/28/2010

The old fall back of the medical profession when faced with a

miracle healing::: "It was misdiagnosed."

I once read a case history of a man who was sent home to die

with tumors the size of grapefruits. While in his doctors office

he saw an article on the Dr's desk about a pill that was supposedly

effective in the treatment of cancer. The Dr, seeing his interest

in the article, and knowing the man had nothing to lose, assured

the man that the new pill was indeed efficacious for the

eradication of cancer tumors. He gave the man the bottle of pills..

the man went home to take them. A few weeks later the Dr could

find no trace of cancer in the man. A few months later the man

watched a TV show saying the pills had been found to be

ineffective. The tumors came back with a vengeance. The Dr

realizing what had happened- loss of faith in the pills by the

patient- told him there was a new improved version. The patient

took them, was cured again.

Later, another news article showing the new pill to be ineffective

was viewd by the patient. This time he died right away. His faith

completely eroded.

Funny how drs completely believe in the efficacy of placebo, but

shy away from faith healings, which are essentially the same thing.

As Jesus said to the woman who touched his robe and was healed...

"It is not me that has healed thee, woman... but thy faith."

Anonymous | 08:25 pm on 2/01/2010

I have just one word: Gentiles.......

Rick T. | 12:09 am on 2/02/2010

Why doesn't Benny-the-anointed ever take his wondrous healing to Children's Medical Center or hospital wards? The guy has a hot place in hell waiting. He'd best enjoy the fruit of his labor while he can.

Anonymous | 05:04 pm on 2/02/2010

Jesus: nowhere to lay his head. Benny Hinn and the pope: castles. Jesus: walked and occasionally used a donkey. Benny Hinn and the pope: limos, jets. Go figure!

Anonymous | 11:51 pm on 2/15/2010

AMEN!!

Michael Carter | 07:19 pm on 2/05/2010

you guys are devil who criticize Benny Hinn.Go after sex offenders,the people whose religion them them bomb your house,corrupt politicians.Leave Pastor Benny or don't mind,continue to taunt him until the Almighty allows destruction and sufferation to get you.And for stupid Lou,this is not philosphy,this is God's work.May God's anger boil hot against those who hinder His work.

Anonymous | 10:18 pm on 2/15/2010

Michael Carter, may the scales fall from your eyes and may God Almighty bless you abundantly.

There are starving, homeless and many other needy people existing right under Benny Hinn's nose - why must he live such a lavish life style when that money could contribute towards much better causes?

I dont wish to offend you but what do you personally believe Jesus would do with all that money?

God bless you.

Mark | 02:26 pm on 2/12/2010

The road to hell is paved with the souls of powerful proud and uber-wealthy evangelist. The gates of heaven welcomes all those who needed that wealth to find thier next meal. The message of Christ is lost in the extravagence of life.

Eddie | 06:06 pm on 2/15/2010

I have some very good friends who send huge amounts of money to Hinn every year. They spend a small fortune traveling to his "crusades" in the U.S. I've tried to get them to read articles such as this to no avail. They are brainwashed. I feel so sorry for them. They are near bankruptcy but they keep supporting Hinn. I asked them where their ten fold return was and that was the final straw. They informed me they no longer considered me a friend. So sad.

Anonymous | 09:59 pm on 2/15/2010

How terribly cruel!! Hinn may be raking in the $$ but one day he will have to stand before the living God and be judged. And all his millions will be worthless.

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